It looks like the summer has finally arrived in Helsinki. June being rather rainy and cold most of the Finns escaped to abroad seeking warmer weathers, but luckily July came with a whole new climate. Past couple of days we have been able to enjoy warming temperatures and sunshine – which of course means that everyone is out on the move.
One of my favourite things about summer is visiting the street flea markets that pop up all around the city (and country) almost every weekend. During the past couple of years these pop-up flea markets have become quite popular and more accepted by the local authorities, too.
This time the flea market we wanted to visit was held in Vaasankatu – a street well known of its shady bars and pubs offering cheap beer and being very popular among the strangest residents of the city, day and night. Vaasankatu is located in bohemian and lively Kallio district not too far from the Helsinki centre. It’s also easy to access by metro, as it starts right outside the entrance of Sörnäinen metro station.
I really like flea markets and believe in the three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle. One’s thrash is another’s treasure, don’t they say? I think people are getting more and more conscious about issues bothering our planet and especially when it comes to travelling, we should think what is sustainable and what is not. I think it’s always better to support the locals by buying products directly from them and/or buying second hand stuff than putting your money on big chain companies. Visiting flea markets on your travel destination is one way to support the locals – and you probably get to find very unique and personal souvenirs.
For design fans I also recommend visiting different flea markets – some popular Finnish designer china such as Iittala and Arabia and older Marimekko designs can be found from flea markets and usually in a very reasonable prices. Especially Japanese seem to really love Finnish design and when visiting Finland they are totally after it – so act quickly or there might not be much left!
You might want to check the social media about street flea markets before arriving, but there are plenty of permanent flea markets in Helsinki area, here’s to name few:
Hietalahti flea market
Hietalahdentori, 00180 Helsinki
Located in Hietalahti market square. A classic, summertime outdoor flea market open 7 days a week, opening hours vary.
Nordenskiöldinkatu 11-13, 00250 Helsinki
Open saturdays and sundays from 9:30am to 1:30 pm, closed during summertime and if there’s other event at the ice rink
Porttikaari 2, 01200 Vantaa
Big indoor self-service flea market with clothes, old records, furniture, pretty much everything.. Located next to IKEA Vantaa – accessible from Helsinki centrum by bus number 734.
KABOOM! Self-service flea market
Aleksis Kiven katu 50, 00510 Helsinki
Runned by two flea market enthusiastics who wanted to bring something new to the “scene”. Closed on mondays.
There are of course plenty of other flea markets – and second hand shops around the city as well, most notorious of them called UFF (a second hand chain) – but I have to admit it’s not exactly my favourite, mostly because of the high prices.. The Finnish word for flea market is “Kirpputori“, so look around for it when exploring the city if you are looking for second hand stuff!